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Emma Goldman quotes (showing 1-30 of 121)

“If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.”
Emma Goldman
“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”
Emma Goldman
“I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
Emma Goldman
“If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.”
Emma Goldman
“Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.”
Emma Goldman
“The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
“ Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root.”
Emma Goldman, Marriage and Love
“The most violent element in society is ignorance. ”
Emma Goldman
“When we can't dream any longer we die.”
Emma Goldman
“Anarchism stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion and liberation of the human body from the coercion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. It stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals…”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
“Ask for work. If they don't give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
“Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.”
Emma Goldman
“Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.”
Emma Goldman
“Every society has the criminals it deserves.”
Emma Goldman, Red Emma Speaks
“Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government.”
Emma Goldman
“Give us what belongs to us in peace, and if you don't give it to us in peace, we will take it by force.”
Emma Goldman
“The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought.”
Emma Goldman
“No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time. ”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
“To the moralist prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock.”
Emma Goldman
“But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism?

Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed?

John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?

Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities.

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.

This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
“No real social change has ever been
brought about without a revolution -
Revolution is but thought carried into action.
Every effort for progress, for enlightenment,
for science, for religious, political, and
economic liberty, emanates from the minority,
and not from the mass.”
Emma Goldman
“No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.”
Emma Goldman
“The import is not the kind of work woman does, but rather the quality of the work she furnishes. She can give suffrage or the ballot no new quality, nor can she receive anything from it that will enhance her own quality. Her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation. Only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free, will maker her a force hitherto unknown in the world, a force for real love, for peace, for harmony; a force of divine fire, of life-giving; a creator of free men and women.

from Woman Suffrage- 1910”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
“Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partly with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself.”
Emma Goldman, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
“The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black man's right to his body, or woman's right to her soul.”
Emma Goldman
“If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus.”
Emma Goldman
“Religion, the dominion of the human mind;
Property, the dominion of human needs; and
Government, the dominion of human conduct,
represent the stronghold of man's enslavement
and all the horrors it entails.”
Emma Goldman
“‎Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against "society," that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship.”
Emma Goldman
“Let us not overlook vital things, because of the bulk of trifles confronting us.”
Emma Goldman
“The strongest bulwark of authority is uniformity; the least divergence from it is the greatest crime.”
Emma Goldman

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